Published May 17, 2022
As the semester concludes, there are many things you can do to help create a more efficient online learning space and prepare for UB’s eventual move to a new Learning Management System (LMS).
Recently, UB announced that after using Blackboard to power UB Learns for 20 years, the university will move to a new LMS called Brightspace. As educators, we know that it is essential to have an online learning environment that is intuitive, responsive and aligned with the needs of our students and faculty—both now and in the future. The LMS transition will take place over the course of three semesters, with Brightspace becoming UB's primary LMS in Fall 2023. The Learning Management System Transition website remains the best source for information regarding the transition process and timeline.
There are things you can do now to help prepare your UB Learns course for the eventual move to Brightspace. Like our home environments, we tend to acquire a lot of stuff over time without realizing how much storage space it actually uses. The same thing happens in our online spaces. The most important thing you can do is remove the digital clutter you may not realize has been following you from semester to semester. There are also benefits to moving video files from your course to UB’s Panopto video streaming service, as well as following best practices for creating archives of your course content and student data. All of these will help make the structure of your course content more efficient and easier to move to the new LMS when the time comes.
But where do you begin, and what do you need to do? The UB Learns support team has put together webpages to guide you through the process, so let’s get started!
You may be surprised to learn that when you add or update files in your course each semester (e.g., a schedule or syllabus), UB Learns retains the previous versions of the files. In other words, clutter. Unused files add to the storage size of the course and make it harder to locate the files you need.
Copying assessments, including tests and assignments, from semester to semester can create challenges when using the Grade Center, including points and grading columns that are not required or redundant for the course. Removing unused assessments can help your courses run more efficiently.
Moving video files to UB’s Panopto video streaming service, and then using the tools in UB Learns to display them in your course, will reduce the storage size of your course and improve performance and the user experience.
Now that you have removed the unused files, folders, tests and videos, you should create archive and export files of your course. Archive files contain all course content and student interactions. Export files only contain course content.
The topics covered in this blog post are best practices for the end of every semester, not just for when moving to a new LMS. By making course content easier to reuse, you have more time to focus on what is truly important—teaching.